This List Reveals The Most Pesticide-Laden Produce

Last Update: March 6, 2020

Not all fruits and vegetables are created equal when it comes to pesticides. A new report lists the best and worst when it comes to contamination — and the results may surprise you.

On Thursday, Consumer Reports released a guide ranking conventional and organic fruits and vegetables by their levels of pesticide residue.

The report analyzed 12 years of data from the Department of Agriculture to sort 48 types of produce into risk levels ranging from “very low” to “very high.”

The data reveals that the difference between each fruit and vegetable can be dramatic. According to the report, you are 200 times more likely to consume pesticides in green beans than broccoli—a pretty significant difference.

So what veggies should you always buy organic? Green beans, sweet bell peppers, and hot peppers were the only three items ranked in the “very high” risk category. Onions, avocados, pineapples and blueberries were among the fruits and vegetables in the “very low” risk category.

Here are the seven fruits and vegetables that received the “very low” risk rating:

– Papaya
– Pineapple
– Celery
– Cabbage
– Corn
– Avocado
– Onion

And the eight riskiest fruits and vegetables:

– Green beans
– Sweet bell peppers
– Hot peppers
– Sweet potatoes
– Cherry tomatoes
– Peaches
– Tangerines
– Strawberries

Of course, consumers concerned about their exposure to pesticides could buy all organic produce — but price can can be prohibitive. Past Consumer Reports studies have found organic food can be up to 47 percent more expensive than conventionally produced food.

To lower your risk of ingesting pesticides, buy organic when you can and always wash your fruits and vegetables before eating. Cut even more chemicals out of your diet by shopping for organic dry goods as well — and save money when you shop at Thrive Market.

Photo credit: Kate Mulling

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Annalise Mantz

Annalise is a foodie, Brussels sprouts lover, grammar nerd, and political pet aficionado.

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